Hayley O’Connor: Your preview for today’s Leopardstown action
While I had some success yesterday, I was wrong in opposing the favourite in the opener, Bunk Off Early who was super impressive despite being off the track for over a year.
However, I plan on doing the same thing today by giving Houseofparliament the thumbs down. He was a quality horse on the flat, winning the G 3 Bahrain Trophy over 1m 5f (on good to firm), was runner-up in the Great Voltiger and third in the St Leger.
My concern is that he was a beaten favourite on heavy ground and I’m not convinced he’ll translate his form on yielding national hunt going today.
This was the race Ivanovich Gorbatov won last year and I think Joseph can strike again, just not with him, or Tree Of Knowledge who I believe ultimately, being a son of Oasis Dream, just won’t get these sort of trips.
But I think he’ll have success with the Queen’s Vase winner Sword Fighter. He likes soft ground and could prove to have a better diversity of class.
The second race is a maiden hurdle for 5-year-olds and upwards. Good bumper horse Bacardys is odds on to avenge his hurdling defeat but in a race I’m not too excited about, I’d rather chance Henry De Bromhead’s Capital Force who was beaten by the narrowest of margins on his sole start.
The highlight Grade 1 chase is not a betting contest for most of us as Douvan will be long odds-on.
Only once in his unbeaten 11 start career has he been odds against, when he went off 2/1 for the Supreme Novices, so let’s put our hands in our pockets and watch another equine elite remind us why we’re in love with this game.
Poor old Sizing John must rue the day he began chasing him home.
The Future Champions Novice Hurdle has produced some fantastic horses – Jezki, The Tullow Tank, not to mention Hurricane Fly.
Gigginstown have half the field of eight and Bryan Cooper must have had a tough decision to make choosing between Avenir D’Une Vie and Peace News.
ADV looks a likeable, ‘gamey’ sort who is by no means a Binocular over his hurdles (yet) but gives the impression that he’ll always get the job done.
Peace News, on the other hand, looked a really slick jumper over hurdles and showed a real appetite to win, only he fell at the last in the Royal Bond. So do we go for style over efficiency?
I’ve been splitting hairs all morning but I’m opting for Peace News. Riven Light looks another sensible choice but he looked just a shade too green for me the last day.
The Handicap Chase is nigh impossible but I’d take it as very significant that Ruby is trying to do 10 stone 1 to ride the favourite, The Crafty Butcher.
Owned by Patrick Mullins and Paul Byrne (who also owned previous winner Rockyaboya) and rugby players Dominic Ryan and Ian Madigan, he was bought for €11,000 with this race in mind.
I think the favourite is worth backing, and hope he wins, but I’ll have a small stake at bigger prices elsewhere also… I’m going to cut the card for this in half and stick a pin in one of the runners carrying less than 10 stone 11 and back it each way!
Here’s hoping for more success and stunning performances this festive season!
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing